Like many other businesses in Saskatchewan, the early beginnings of Highline Manufacturing took shape on a family farm. It was in the early 1960’s that the concept of making a rugged and durable rock picker took shape on the Bussiere farm just east of Vonda. Based on the rock picker concept, Highline Manufacturing was originally called Rock-O-Matic Industries. In 1963 Rock-O-Matic held an official grand opening and promoted the new rock pickers to farmers in the surrounding communities.
Farmers soon saw the usefulness and durability of the design and by 1966 upwards of 100 units were being produced a year in this small plant on the farm. With the increase in demand and potential for expansion into other product lines, a new more modern plant was being considered. In 1970 this dream became reality and a new building was erected on the current site in Vonda.
During the next period, the company continued being successful and was recognized with achievements such as winning the Canadian Export Award in 1983 and the Saskatchewan Export Award several times for their efforts in the Russian Markets.
In February of 1988, Raymond Bussiere purchased the assets of Rock-O-Matic and changed the name to Highline Manufacturing Inc. The following year he broadened its product line by purchasing Laurier Manufacturing Inc. based out of Laurier, MB. Then in 1993, a new product called the Bale-Master was developed. This new product would revolutionize the round bale feeding industry.
Highline continued to enjoy success and the plant underwent a variety of changes to meet customer and production demands, until it reached a footprint of 70,000 square feet on 160 acres of property. Highline took pride in the fact that it listened to the needs of its customers and it guaranteed “Customer Driven Quality”. Business continued forward until sales were hit hard by a BSE crisis in the market. At this time, Raymond Bussiere sought to find a buyer that would bring market strength, financial stability and continued community growth. His search did not take long, nor did he have to look far for a buyer.
On June 5, 2006 it became official that Bourgault Industries Ltd. would acquire the assets of Highline Manufacturing and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bourgault Industries Ltd. Bourgault believed that Highline had an excellent reputation for producing a quality product, and standing behind it. Perhaps even more importantly, Bourgault believed that the success Highline had enjoyed for many years was largely due to the strength and resilience of its workers. Being from a rural culture the Team at Highline would be committed to the future success of the organization and the community.
A significant setback was experienced July of 2007 with a major fire at the plant. However, Highline repaired and rebuilt, making major improvements along the way. Two of the more major improvements in 2008 included a 12,240 square foot expansion, bringing the total square footage to 82,640, and the second was another production line including all the necessary equipment.
Highline is committed to providing the right equipment and processes to allow its Team members to work safely and efficiently to meet the needs of our Customers. Investment in capital equipment is ongoing, with the most recent new plant equipment start-ups including a Trumpf Laser cutting system in 2013 and a second Hoffmann Balancer in 2014. The Manufacturing Engineering group is focused on maximizing equipment utilization throughout the facility through ongoing process improvement and planning.
Highline is striving to not only meet, but to exceed the industry standards for safety and training of its Team members. In 2014, Highline’s safe work environment was recognized with the SASM Silver Level Certificate of Recognition. This achievement is a reflection of ensuring that safety is a key component in our everyday activities. The Highline team is actively involved in a range of training activities to continuously develop our skills and knowledge. Examples include TWI Job Relation, Job Instruction, and Job Method training, and Personal Development training focused on tools for improving critical thinking and encouraging personal responsibility.
From the early days of Rock-O-matic through to today, Product Development has been the key to our success. The Research and Development group is constantly designing new equipment with unique features that address the needs of our Customers, providing value for their investment. Our product lineup currently includes bale processors, bale movers, rock pickers, and ditch mowers. Within the last two years Highline has released new products for each of these lines, including the CFR1251 dual bale processor, the BM605 and BM607 five and seven bale movers, the NT 44, 60, and 78 rock pickers, and the RCH™ Hydro hydraulic drive mower.
Highline distributes its products through a tremendous dealer network. Highline is very appreciative of the efforts of our dealers in ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction from initial sale through the many years of life of our equipment.
Highline Manufacturing Mission Statement
To design, manufacture and distribute the highest quality, most durable and reliable farm equipment in the world, which is affordable and meets or exceeds the expectations of our most demanding customers.
Highline Manufacturing Vision Statement
“Pursuing Perfection” is really the corporate motto of Bourgault Industries which applies to all areas of the business including Highline Manufacturing. Its mission is to design and manufacture the world’s best equipment. The most fundamental purpose for our company’s existence is to improve the lives of the people who work here. This requires using an approach that is focused on the development of people so that they can effectively meet the needs of the company’s customers while striving to increase their skills and knowledge, which will increase their self-esteem. In order to achieve maximum success for all of the company’s stakeholders, that is, its team members, customers and shareholders, neither the interests of its team members, nor the interests of the company or its customers can be compromised. Only the win-win-win gives optimum results for everyone. In the long run, the company’s success is essential for the success of its team members and compromising the interests of the company would eventually result in the interests of its team members also being compromised.